Bafflin Sanctuary

Posted By on August 20, 2018

Bafflin Sanctuary

5.7 miles; Pomfret, CT

[Ed. Note: I have been EXTREMELY remiss in posting for the past few months. A lot of personal drama. But I have made a vow to post at least once a day until I’m caught up. So watch the dates on these, as there is quite a backlog.]

This hike was with some of my favorite hiking buddies, Bob & Mel. This is an Audubon Society property, and it was a trail system they’ve hiked before, so at least two of us were very familiar with the route. Beautiful day for a hike and we saw lots of cool stuff.

Virgin's Bower, Clematis virginiana

Virgin’s Bower, Clematis virginiana

There was an amazing array of wildflowers on this property, and Bob and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what they all were. In the rare instance where I actually had cellphone coverage, I was able to use the iNaturalist app on my phone, which a very cool “citizen scientist” project as well as an app. It lets you take a photo of whatever it is you’re trying to identify and then ask for suggestions, and it will come up with a tentative i.d. Then you can post your location, and the info gets added to their database. It’s a free app to download, and I highly recommend it.

Summer Farewell Bouquet

Summer Farewell Bouquet

As much as I like Joe Pye Weed and Goldenrod, to me they say “Farewell, Summer!” August seems too early to say goodbye…

Beaver Dam

Beaver Dam

We saw evidence of a beaver population. We also saw a great blue heron that seemed to prefer walking to flying. When we came up on him/her, he/she just ambled away down another trail. Pretty weird. It’s not a creature you’re used to seeing on its feet.

Thistle infected with bacterial disease which causes apical chlorosis.

Thistle infected with bacterial disease which causes apical chlorosis.

We were also quite perplexed by this thistle thicket (say that 3 times fast). I thought it might be milk thistle, but that has more of a white-veined appearance. It wasn’t till I got home and consulted with my research assistant Dr. Google that I realized that this plant is probably infected with a bacterial disease.

Monarch Caterpillar

Monarch Caterpillar

And of course there was a ton of milkweed which I dutifully inspected for signs of Monarchs. I was finally rewarded with this fellow. From the look of that leaf, he was quite a hungry hungry caterpillar!

You can find out more about the Bafflin Sanctuary from this CT Audubon website (trail map here—large pdf file). As always, click the image above for details about this hike and to download the gps track.

 

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